Cheers to 2015!

WTF y’all?! 2015 is already over? Have I really been napping for that long? I swear I set an alarm!

Some serious shit has gone down this year, so lets review:

  • Can we talk about the fact that an institution of higher learning decided that I was worthy of receiving a degree to prove that my education is valid? Granted I bribed them with some serious coin, but they didn’t necessarily have to give me that diploma. Either way, it’s mine now and they CANNOT have it back.
  • I moved back home to New York. Okay, well I technically never moved away, but it was like I went on a super long four year vacation to North Carolina. But I am home now in the land of bagels, rude drivers, and good pizza. I do not plan on leaving any time soon (if someone could just mail me some sweet Tea that’d be great though).
  • Oh wait, you’re going to love this: Some group of adults actually thought I was competent enough to be considered a valuable addition to their team. They sat around and said, “He seems to know what he is doing. Let’s give him money on a regular basis so he can continue to do that for us.”

Just because some major things went down in 2015, doesn’t mean that I should just coast through 2016. And I figure if I write my resolutions down here, I might have to hold myself more accountable to them.

  • Move out of my family home into an apartment of my own. By “own” I mean an apartment that I will realistically share with 4 other people because the rent is just too damn high.
  • Ramp up this garbage bin of a Thought Catalog I call ‘My Blog’.
  • Try my hand at vlogging. ~Cue the 3-minute vlog intro~
  • Eat less things that are covered in batter and more things that come from the Earth.
  • I’ve heard about this new trend called Working Out, so I might as well join the herd and start that up.
  • On the realest note: make more time for keeping old friends and making new ones.

I wouldn’t be me if I didn’t try to force a playlist or some music on you, so here’s my 2015 hits list! These lift up your mood, get you to dance, and can help you get through the year ahead.

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2015 Golden Globes – Graves and Faves

The 2015 Golden Globes, Jan. 11, 2015 on NBC, brought the party like it always does. Tina Fey and Amy Poehler hosted their third and final year at the awards joking on everything from Sony to Bill Cosby. Presented below, without comment, are 10 Red Carpet looks. Five of them belong put in a grave, while five of them were my fave. Enjoy!

The top 5 looks that should be put in a GRAVE:

The top 5 looks that were my FAVE:

What Happens When France Creates too Much Greatness in One Year?

The 2011 Parisian film, “The Intouchables,” which touched the hearts of foreign film critics worldwide tells the story of a quadriplegic aristocrat who hires a young thug as a caretaker. The relationship that resulted, although oddball, is one that is capturing notable attention, including that of my own.

Written and directed by both Olivier Nakache and Eric Toledano, the most important cultural event in France (according to retail chain Fnac), was produced by the Weinstein Company. The masterpiece stars Francois Cluzet as Philippe, the French aristocrat deemed quadriplegic as a result of a paragliding accident, and Omar Sy in his Cesar Award winning turn as the Senegalese criminal, Driss, looking to get his benefits by going on a job interview.

The 2011 Parisian film, “The Artist,” stole the hearts of the entire world telling the black-and-white romantic story of the end of the silent film era. An aged film star and the young ingenue fall in love as they struggle to adapt to the changing 1930’s cinematic landscape.

Written, directed, and edited by Michel Hazanavicius while also being produced by the Weinstein Company. It starred Jean Dujardin as silent film star George Valentin in his 2012 Academy Award winning turn for Best Actor. The film also went on to win four other Academy Awards, seven British Academy Film Awards, and six Cesar Awards. “The Artist” won over 100 awards globally, while “The Intouchables” only won 31 awards.

By any means both films are great enough to legendary in their own right. So how did two major French foreign films capture the attention of the millions, but one be sewed into the global cultural lexicon and one not be known of until it’s assigned in a class?

“The Intouchables” set an all-time record for a foreign film not made or previously released in the US, at the high value of $340 million, but “The Artist” became the international gem of that film season. There is one key difference amongst the films: plot.

“The Intouchables,” although veiled behind a true story, is a plot that is seen time and time again: the oddball and straight edge becoming unlikely friends. Look to American mega-successful films such as “The Odd Couple,” “Annie,” “Rush Hour,” “Toy Story,” and “Bad Boys.” Because this is a film narrative that is seemingly old hat to American audiences, its splendor and awe is marred by the rest of it’s class. While “The Artist” deals with common themes like a changing world and adapting to it, it does so in a new and fantastical sense (the silent and black-and-white effects).

There is nothing that separates “The Intouchables” from anything else. The true story does no help as it is not a well-known enough story globally. The discussion over racial identities plays a side role to the film, not pulling the attention it deserves. The same is said of it’s depiction of disability awareness and care. If this were any other year it could have gone against other true stories like “The Iron Lady” or “Argo.” But because the Weinstein Company pushed hard on two similar French films at the same time, one had to fall flat.

I use the term “fall flat” loosely, because it was one of the highest grossing films of its kind, but “The Intouchables” was just not the Academy Award-winning film for us to remember decades to come.

Album Review – 1989 by Taylor Swift

Taylor_Swift_-_1989In a year of dismal album releases and sales (nothing has grabbed the music industry’s attention since Beyonce’s self-titled gift to us in November of 2013), Taylor Swift descended from the heavens to deliver us the gift that is 1989. 

Released on October 27th, 2014, her fifth studio album exited the country music world and transitioned Swift into the full-fledged pop princess that we all deserve. With mega-producer Max Martin and Fun front-man Jack Antonoff at the helm this album is an engineered success. With lead singles “Shake It Off,” “Out of the Woods,” and “Blank Space” she debuts a sassy new attitude to both her critics and her ex’s.

But this is far more than just a catchy up-tempo pop album. This is a shift in the universe and one of the best celebrity marketing campaigns in 2014.

Swift is an engineered media mogul and there is nothing wrong with that. She is now the Queen of Tumblr, taking over the website for a day sharing her favorite images with the social media community. She was named NYC’s Global Welcome Ambassador promoting education in New York City public schools. COULD SHE BE ANY MORE PERFECT?!

The debate isn’t about album being great or not. It was built to sell 1.278 million albums in just one week. What this is about is how a team of people can reinvent the image of a country music angel into the sassy pop idol that we now love.

The best part about this is that we have no idea we are being sold on something. Her team is functioning so effortlessly that you don’t even know that it’s happening. All we see is that it is Taylor Swift’s world and we are just living in it!

5 Tips for Teens on Social Media

It’s official: I AM OLD! Millennial’s are at the point where they have radio stations classifying Britney Spears as “oldies” and half of the new apps, platforms, and technologies are meant for our teenage siblings. They use social media platforms that I will never understand or even think about using.

Teenagers were born in the time where the Internet was in a majority of homes and cell phones came with LED screens and smart technologies. They are natives to the digital world. But navigating the world wide web is hard to accomplish when you are figuring out who you are as a teenager. Here are some things to do, and things to not do in order to minimize the skeletons in your digital webs:

  • Do not share your phone number publicly. Do not comment on an Instagram photo asking someone to text your number. That number can be seen publicly by anyone, regardless of whether or not profile’s are private. This is any easy way for anyone who wishes you harm to get in contact with you.

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  • Funerals are a time for mourning and respect. Regardless of whether or not you know the person whose life is being commemorated, at funeral is not the appropriate time to take selfies. If you wish to publicly commemorate a person whom you have lost try sharing an old picture of you and the person.

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  • This is something that is not exclusive to teenagers: watch out for grammar mistakes. You may only have 140 characters to send in a Tweet, but you still can speak in proper English. A school in Brazil has taken to teaching their students the English language by having them correct celebrity tweets.

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  • Don’t be vain. I’m sure all of your followers appreciate your “strong selfie game” but it makes you look bad if you share dozens of them a day. Everyone understands you love your new haircut or outfit, but you don’t need to tell us 12 times about it.

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  • Be careful when you tag or check-in at a location on social media. People can see what location you are in and can come and find you. Instagram and Facebook both have mapping features that let friends or followers see where you are. They can track you and follow you if they want. If you want to tag a location, hold off until you have already left the place you were at.

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Social media can be a fun form of self-expression and identity. Just make sure you do not do things that can hurt you in the present or future. Keep your digital ghost safe and clean.

Some YouTube Channels

Anyone who knows me personally knows that I am obsessed with YouTube. I spend a large portion of my day on the internets second most popular search engine. I watch comedic videos, news, vloggers, gaming channels, informative videos, etc etc etc. I thought it would be beneficial to collect up some of my current favorite YouTube channels for everyones viewing enjoyment. For today I bring you my first three channels. They appear in no particular order, just as I write them down.

#HotMessMoves  – They are a fairly new channel in the grand scheme of things but have learned from many of their predecessors, the Grace Helbig’s and Hannah Hart’s of the world, and are quickly gaining quite a lot of popularity. Their short yet extremely funny videos are for the dosage of a much needed laugh twice weekly.

Mametown – Speaking of Grace Helbig and Hannah Hart, it wouldn’t be a YouTube post if I didn’t mention the third member of the YouTube Holy Trinity, Mamrie Hart. While she has no relation to the aforementioned Hart she has considerable fame stemming from her successful channel “You Deserve A Drink.” She has now created Mametown, a second channel to focus on more creative and alternative effort. After the success of the Camp Takota, the movie she both wrote and co-starred in, there is nothing but more comedy headed our way on this channel.

The Art Assignment – The Art Assignment is a funducational channel about all different types of art. Each episode features an interview with an out-of-the-box artist and features a challenge for viewers to go out into the world and create that art. It is produced by PBS Digital Studios and hosted by curator Sarah Green (wife of famed writer/nerd/vlog brother John Green).

A 4th Turn at Sleep No More

The one good thing about returning to something after such a long time is that that “thing” is fresh to you again. The one bad thing about returning to something after such a long time is that is has done a lot of growing, or for this sake, aging while you were gone. That is the story about my 4th trip to Sleep No More (SNM for short). If you want to read ahead about my trip be mindful of the spoilers because the show is best experienced without anything in mind. I will try not to give away many details but it is the nature of the SNM fandom to rant, spill all the details, and gloat about personal victories.

**~~SPOILERS AHEAD~~**

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89th Academy Awards Fashion

Click through the gallery below to see my choices for the Best Dressed women at the 2014 Oscar’s. Let me know in the comments below who you thought deserved the top spot. I just really thought Camila Alves looked absolutely stunning in the light pink flowing gown.

NYFW Fall 2014 RTW Round-Up

A frenzied week of stilettos, snow storms, and street style came along with Mercedes Benz Fashion Week. From gimmicks to jaw dropping collections it was a much buzzed about week with attention that rivaled the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics. From Hood by Air’s hair-ography filled voguing to Marc Jacob’s use of Kendall Jenner’s breasts, the week was jam packed with buzz-worthy news. I compiled my 20 favorite looks from the entire week,  featuring the likes of Alice + Olivia, whom picked a stellar place for their presentation, to Diane von Furstenberg for celebrated her 50th work anniversary with a gilded collection. Click through the gallery below to see some of the best looks.

Top 10 Looks of the 2014 Grammy Awards

The Grammy’s aired last night and they did not disappoint! From Beyoncé and Jay  Z’s sensual opening to Katy Perry’s bewitching performance to Macklemore and Ryan Lewis’ love filled weddings, there were plenty of moments to keep us entertained. As usual the fashion did not disappoint; every star pulled out all the stops. I collected together my Top 10 Favorite Looks from the evening for your viewing pleasure. Be sure to let me know in the comments below who you think was best dressed!